A Blog About Economic Development and City Planning in Manatee and Sarasota County Craighullinger@gmail.com

City Planning News

Monday, March 7, 2011

Downtown Parking

[Government]  Building or Buying Parking Downtown
Jacob Ogles, Jacob.Ogles@srqmediagroup.com

A proposal before Sarasota City Commissioners tonight could allow some downtown developers to pay a fee to City Hall rather than pave new parking spaces in the urban area.

An ordinance being considered would allow a "payment in lieu of parking fee option" under certain circumstances. City officials stress the plan would just add an option to developers, and would only be allowed in conditions where it made sense for a development to rely on off-site public spaces.

"The Duany Plan contemplated parking on some individual sites was not the ideal way to create a pedestrian-friendly environment," said Special Projects General Manager Mike Taylor, referencing Sarasota's 2020 Downtown Master Plan. 

Source:  srqmediagroup.com

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sarasota County Energy Efficient Community

Imagine the possibilities for Sarasota County to create an economically sustainable, energy efficient community
Sarasota County is working hard to:
  • Create a stronger and more diverse economy.
  • Help existing businesses expand and create jobs.
  • Help new businesses bring jobs to the county.
  • Create a community based on economic and energy sustainability.
Sarasota County is learning and growing from the lessons of the recession. We are diversifying our economic base by growing environmentally clean jobs and adopting sustainable development policies and practices. We are locating jobs and housing closer to each other, reducing transportation needs, building on clean businesses and incorporating environmental safeguards for waterways and natural areas.

These goals are reflected in Sarasota County’s plan to create an Energy Economic Zone, which would be implemented through an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan.

The Florida Legislature authorized Energy Economic Zones in 2009 to promote economic diversification and reduce greenhouse gases. The legislation identified several strategies to accomplish these purposes:

  • Attract green industry to the zone.
  • Encourage alternative energy research, demonstrations, production and use.
  • Use energy-efficient land use patterns.
  • Facilitate sustainable building practices.
The Florida Department of Community Affairs selected Sarasota County and the city of Miami Beach as communities to create pilot Energy Economic Zones as models for other communities to meet the goals of the legislation.

Sarasota County’s proposed Energy Economic Zone amendment is an innovative approach to land use planning that adopts sustainable development practices and energy efficient solutions.

 Message to the BCC on benefits of the Energy Economic Zone 
from Nicholas C. Gladding, Commissioner, Florida Energy and Climate Commission

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